Despite access to free services such as the Pap test, a swab test recommended to women annually to detect precursory cancer cells, Irish women are cutting back on well woman, or annual, visits, as well as STI and other sexual health testing due to financial constraints. In Ireland, an STI panel (a full workup) can cost up to 200 Euros, which is almost $300 – twice as expensive as in the US.
According to an article in the Irish Times, “While more than 4,500 women were tested for the infection in 2008, this dropped to less than 3,500 in 2010. This drop, the report says, reflected the overall decrease in numbers attending the clinics “and also the reluctance of people to incur additional costs – even though the extra cost is only €15 for the test”.
The article also indicates, which we know to be true, “Putting off check-ups or delaying treatment for an infection may result in people compromising their sexual and reproductive health.”
Share your thoughts!: What would you do if a friend/family member/colleague/student put off getting tested for financial reasons?
Don’t forget! You can always find free or low-cost testing here in the District!